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Old 01-20-2015, 11:45 AM   #1
pwalden
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Any Linux-based US Federal Tax filing software out there?


I've googled about and came up dry looking for a Linux-based solution for filing US federal taxes. The closest ones all seem to be on-line browser-based and/or run a Windows VM. The former does not count as I am reluctant to store my personal stuff on someoneelse's server.

It seems like I'll have to dust-off my Windows XP desktop again for the 2014 season.

Anyone run into a Linux solution? I would have thought an Android solution might have been available by now.
 
Old 01-20-2015, 12:55 PM   #2
bigrigdriver
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http://www.google.com/url?url=http:/...C6TDIxpGCwNZ6w
http://www.amazon.com/Avanquest-3570...1778719&sr=1-2
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...&condition=all

Do your homework to find out how good they are, how well satisfied user are, etc.
 
Old 01-20-2015, 01:18 PM   #3
michaelk
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I know that TurboTax does not work with wine and H&R Block 2013 was only rated as bronze. Not sure about the others.

PS I did not know that TaxCut was supported... Ok that version was from 2002 and since HR Block is TaxCut I don't think there is a linux version anymore. Business tax forms are not income tax forms so not sure that applies. That software was also from 2002.

I forgot about Opentaxsolver which can fill out the forms and does the calculations but not as automated as TurboTax. If you can not fill the forms by yourself then this may not help.

Last edited by michaelk; 01-20-2015 at 01:41 PM.
 
Old 01-20-2015, 03:56 PM   #4
pwalden
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Opentaxsolver was news to me as well. Thanks. Downside is no support for efile. You have to send in the forms via snail mail. I'll take a look at it once it is updated with the 2014 forms (web site says late January).

I'll still likely use Taxact on my XP instance if just for the efile. Tt's free for federal filings as long as you are willing to put up with the incessant ads for the premium version. I can compare the results with Opentaxsolver.

I guess we can thanks Intuit for the lack of open alternatives.
 
Old 01-20-2015, 05:13 PM   #5
ljb643
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Not really on topic, but in response to "snail mail" - don't overlook "Free File Fillable Forms" https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/ , which is from the IRS itself (not one of its 'partners'). The IRS intends this for higher income taxpayers that don't qualify for Free File, but it works for anyone and is free. Unlike Free File, it doesn't require PC-based software - it is completely web based. But it will not do the work for you. It does basic calculations only.

It's definitely better than filling out paper forms and mailing.
 
Old 01-21-2015, 03:31 PM   #6
mostlyharmless
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Open Tax Solver doesn't include a Washington State form, see http://opentaxsolver.sourceforge.net/
Quote:
As in prior years, it will contain programs for US 1040 with Schedules A, B, C, D, and with the 8829 and 8849 forms. It will also contain State versions for California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, New York, and Massachusetts.
Still, you could double check your Federal form.
 
Old 01-21-2015, 04:06 PM   #7
sundialsvcs
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I had a disastrous experience with H&R Block on my case-sensitive filesystem Macintosh.

Not only were the forms hosed-up (because the directories were filled up with files having different case names ...), but the calculations were FUBAR as well. (Filing "Form 1040-X," after getting an official letter to the effect that your numbers are garbage, is no fun at all. Especially when those numbers were "garbage-out.")

The problem with that software is that it tempts you not to LQQK at what you're sending. ("If a computer did it, it must be right, right?")

I cordially suggest that you can actually do quite well with a simple spreadsheet, using data as-applicable from your business accounting package. Let it do the math, then download the appropriate fillable PDF-forms from http://www.irs.gov, fill them out, and mail them in, "certified mail, return receipt requested." When the green card comes back, staple it to a printed copy of your return and file it away forever.

Be nice to the Post Office and don't wait until April.

If the return is more complicated than this, then your CPA-licensed accountant should be doing them for you, anyway.

Incidentally, you can also set up an account on irs.gov (!!), and download a free transcript of everything that they've received, both for current and for past years. So, if you simply can't find that W-2, don't worry: they've got a copy.

IRS also offers a free online tax-preparation and e-filing process ... although I do not use e-filing (by any means) because of previous bad experiences with it. Yessir, I want a piece of paper, with a green return-receipt card stapled to it.

The tax-software people have become a $$powerful$$ $$lobby$$, but you really don't need to use their stuff. Frankly, I wish that IRS would just send a bill, and oblige you and your significant-other to sign it ("under penalty of perjury," blah blah), like so many other countries do.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 01-21-2015 at 04:07 PM.
 
Old 01-21-2015, 04:41 PM   #8
pwalden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mostlyharmless View Post
Open Tax Solver doesn't include a Washington State form, see http://opentaxsolver.sourceforge.net/


Still, you could double check your Federal form.
Not a problem as Washington does not (currently) have an income tax. If I still lived in California, 90% of the work is in the Federal return. The CA form is just adds and subtracts to the federal return.
 
Old 01-21-2015, 04:48 PM   #9
pwalden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
If the return is more complicated than this, then your CPA-licensed accountant should be doing them for you, anyway.

...

The tax-software people have become a $$powerful$$ $$lobby$$, but you really don't need to use their stuff. Frankly, I wish that IRS would just send a bill, and oblige you and your significant-other to sign it ("under penalty of perjury," blah blah), like so many other countries do.
I think the CPAs are in on the lobbying too. Heaven help most of them if the tax codes are ever simplified. I think pigs will be flying first, though.
 
Old 01-22-2015, 05:23 PM   #10
LinuxUser42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
I had a disastrous experience with H&R Block on my case-sensitive filesystem Macintosh.
then download the appropriate fillable PDF-forms from http://www.irs.gov, fill them out, and mail them in, "certified mail, return receipt requested." When the green card comes back, staple it to a printed copy of your return and file it away forever.

IRS also offers a free online tax-preparation and e-filing process ... although I do not use e-filing (by any means) because of previous bad experiences with it. Yessir, I want a piece of paper, with a green return-receipt card stapled to it.
I can't say what H&R has been called for years by quite a few of the IRS employee's I have known, due to the TOS. Nor can I comment on the commercial industries attempts to keep free tax software out of the hands of the people.
What I can say is since Adobe dropped Acrobat for Linux, I haven't found a program that works well for filling out tax forms, in a way that you don't have to worry about handwritting or smudging, etc. (nothing wrong with pen, just the easier the form is to read, the simpler for all involved, IMHE)
Not sure why this is. Some tax forms (don't remember Fed or state), did some sort of autocalculate and wonder if that is proprietary and the pain.
 
  


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